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String re-use question

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An odd question..

 

If you use a set of strings for a couple of months, take them off the bass to work on the bass, then put them back on, would you expect them to suffer a bit more in the re-stringing process and sound older more quickly?

I notice that sometimes when I do that the little dents in the strings from being fretted can end up on top, so each string gets more dents.

 

I recently did this and (although I might be imagining it), the strings seem to be far deader than they were just before taking them off and putting them on again.

Or is it just my ears?

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Have you twisted them putting on maybe, quite easy to do if the tuner end is already all coiled up. Sometimes a twist in the string will made it sound dead. The flat fret spots being on top would point to this being the case. 

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I have learned from experience that once I've taken a set of strings of a bass (or guitar) they are only ever any use for emergencies when I've broken a string and haven't got a replacement.

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If they've been in use for a good long while they never sound the same to me removed and when later put back under tension.

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It is possible to machine wash strings, or wash or boil them. Fairy, alcohol... ultrasonic, anyone? Longer shelf time gives a slightly longer use, but they still become dull pretty fast. Because the frets eat some of the string surface, the result is not very good.

My choice has been a new set. I buy 5 to 10 sets at the time. Then I am able to discuss about the price in a local shop. Far better results than trying to wash them.

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On 02/02/2020 at 15:11, itu said:

It is possible to machine wash strings, or wash or boil them. Fairy, alcohol... ultrasonic, anyone? Longer shelf time gives a slightly longer use, but they still become dull pretty fast. Because the frets eat some of the string surface, the result is not very good.

My choice has been a new set. I buy 5 to 10 sets at the time. Then I am able to discuss about the price in a local shop. Far better results than trying to wash them.

I have reasonable success and get a fair amount of brightness back in by soaking them in a big bottle of meths for 24 hours.

Obviously not as good as new but I've rarely had any problems.

Edited by Marky L

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Boiling is a bad idea,  depending on the string you'll increase the chances of rusting and decrease the life.  as @Marky L says, soaking in meths is one of the best options, or other alcohol with no water in it.  Andrew Pouska at StudyBass recommends making a cleaning tube so the strings can hang rather than coil (http://www.studybass.com/gear/bass-strings/bass-string-cleaning-tube/) , 

As a more frequent clean rather than removing and soaking the strings I've found these to be really effective, anhydrous IPA wipes : https://uk.farnell.com/techspray/1610-50pk/wipe-isopropyl-alcohol-ipa-pack/dp/2501334  (IPA =  Isopropyl alcohol, not India Pale Ale 🙂 ).  Wiping the strings as soon as they get greasy keeps them cleaner for longer, some guys do so after every rehearsal & gig, but I don't find that necessary.   I put a sheet of plastic between the strings & fretboard just in case.

 

 

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Agree with @Maude about twisting them when you've put them back on.

Whenever I work on mine, for whatever reason, I restring it with the one's I've removed for the work, but I always leave them in the bridge, and just curl them out of the way while I'm working. Never had any issues when retightening them (there's always a first time of course! :D ).

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